press releases...


New CD by Máire Breatnach (Gaeilge)

Máire Breatnach has released a new album, her fifth, under the title “Cranna Ceoil / In Full Measure”.

The fourteen tracks on “Cranna Ceoil / In Full Measure”are all Máire's own compositions, and most are slow airs, a genre in which there is not very much new writing at present.

Máire is accompanied on the CD by well-known brother musicians Cormac De Barra (harp) and Fionán de Barra (guitar). Fionán also engineered the project.

Moya Brennan joins Máire to provide a vocal element on three of the tracks.

The album's cover and inset were designed by Mick McMullin of Blue Ark Design, based on delightful atmospheric artwork by internationally renowned artist Robert Ballagh.

DD nua le Máire Breatnach

Eisíodh dlúth-dhiosca nua le Máire Breatnach le déanaí, faoin teideal“Cranna Ceoil / In Full Measure”. Is é an cúigiú diosca dá cuid féin ag an gceoltóir é.

Í féin a scríobh na píosaí ceoil ar fad atá ar “Cranna Ceoil / In Full Measure”, ceithre chinn déag acu. Foinn mhalla a bhformhór, cineál ceoil nach bhfuil á chumadh mórán ar na saolta seo.

Tá tionlacan ar Mháire ar an DD ag na deartháireacha Cormac De Barra (cruit) agus Fionán de Barra (giotár). Ba é Fionán freisin a bhí i mbun innealltóireacht an togra.

Téann Moya Brennan i bpáirt le Maire chun ceol béil a chur le trí cinn de na rianta.

Ba é Mick McMullin (Blue Ark Design) a dhear an clúdach agus an bhileog istigh, bunaithe ar ealaíon tarraingteach leis an ealaíontóir clúiteach Robert Ballagh.

2000 has been a busy and very successful year for Máire. She travelled extensively, guested on numerous CDs, such as "The Diamond Mountain Sessions" (Sharon Shannon & Friends), "A Time of Change" (The Vards), "Way Out Yonder" (Andy Irvine), "Red Letter Day" (Kieran Goss) and "The Contender" (Tommy Fleming). Albums produced by Máire included "An Irish Lullaby" (Padraigin Ni Uallachain) and "O'er the Border" (Kati Pellinen). Most recently her commissioned work, Scattery Island, appeared on "Ceol Reoite - Music for the MILLENNIUM" (track 5; launched December 4th), and she also provided music for the documentary, Dan-Dan Dad and Me (the family life of General Richard Mulcahy) which was shown on RTE on October 24th.

Work continues on new album projects, and Máire has recently begun a series of lectures/masterclasses, both academic and creative. For further details, please email Máire at which you should also do if you wish to locate copies of "Angels' Candles".

Máire wishes all her fans and friends a very happy Christmas and best wishes for 2001.

1999 has been a busy and productive year for Máire. As well as releasing her re-recorded "classic", "Angels' Candles", and collaborating with Keith Donald on a unique album, "The Calm after the Storm", she also provided the title track for the highly successful "Éist" album, on which she duetted with Brian Kennedy. "Éist" had already achieved double platinum sales in Ireland alone by December 1999.

This was in addition to writing a newly-commissioned work for Scattery Island, Co.Clare, as part of an ongoing series initiated by Duchas/The Heritage Trust, according to which established writers/composers have been "twinned" with specific heritage sites throughout Ireland. The highly successful premiere of this piece took place in Kilrush, Co.Clare on September 10th last.

More recently, Máire has produced an album of Irish lullabies (lyrics in Irish and English) for the noted northern singer, Padraigin Ni Uallachain, and has contributed an original song to "A Russian Lullaby" (Dec. 1999), the proceeds of which go directly to the children at Hortolovo Orphanage via the Irish charity, "To Russia with Love".

Máire is currently engaged in writing for two new projects and, although heavily involved in the usual round of production/arranging/touring/recording work, has found time for some Irish performances over the coming months.

First up are a guest appearance with Sonny Condell at The Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin 7 on Saturday, February 5th, and on Monday March 6th, she will host an eclectic night's music at Dublin's Harcourt Hotel, when her guests will be Conor Byrne (flute, whistles), Keith Donald (saxophone) Niall O Callanain (bouzouki) and Garvan Gallagher (Bass) - from 9.00pm.

Further information about this performance may be had by contacting Keith Beattie at the Harcourt Hotel (Tel.-353-1-4783677).

Future events, projects and appearances will be posted on the news page of Máire's website, as soon as they are confirmed. Máire wishes all those who listen to her music, a very happy, peaceful and prosperous 2000."

Angels' Candles Re-Released New CD with Keith Donald
Signature Tune for Scattery Island Chieftains Tears of Stone

Angels' Candles Re-Released (as Gaeilge)

Maire Breatnach Angels' CandlesMáire Breatnach re-releases her acclaimed debut album Angels’ Candles/Coinnle na nAingeal on 9th July 1999. This completely new recording was completed and mastered using 24 bit digital technology, and all tracks have been reworked and rearranged since their initial release in 1993.

The album deals with the themes of inspiration, heritage, folklore, storytelling and recollections of youth (tracks 1 - 7) and later life (tracks 8 - 14).

Each memory resembles a candle, which spreads its light to the other candles which surround it, moving ever outwards...

This is how Máire sees her new album: 'Angels' Candles are the stars in our sky, a series of points of light in a long journey. The first seven pieces recall a child's window of wonder on the night sky, each piece evoking a bedtime story or poem in that mysterious twilight time when the stars are just beginning to appear: Midir and Étain, the Voyage of Bran, the Children of Lir. Here also are the sounds of distant bells, and the icy stillness of winter; the fiery, dancing shooting stars, and the embroidered dark-blue velvet cloth of the heavens. The title comes from Máire Mhac an tSaoi's poem, 'Oíche Nollag' ('Christmas Eve') *

"Le coinnle na n-aingeal tá an spéir amuigh breactha, Tá fiacail an tseaca sa ghaoith ón gcnoc..." ("The heavens outside are speckled with angels' candles, The frost's tooth in the wind from the hill...")

For me, the night sky becomes a sheet of smoky glass against which countless outstretched hands hold a lighted candle... which in turn, passes on its light to another...

The latter seven pieces illuminate images from later in life - a new Clan March, the laughter of friends and the fun of dancing, a vision woman's message of empowerment at Halloween, a remembrance of one who died young. Each is a candle which is lit up through contact with others, and then reaches out to light we do in our lives...

Most of the music was written over a brief ten week period during autumn/winter 1992, although the images and themes have been forming and re-arranging themselves over a longer period. The album was re-recorded in early 1999, allowing me to look at the material afresh and note how it had developed in the intervening time.

Ceol anama é seo. Baineann sé le draíocht, le físeanna, le haislingí, le rúndiamhair, le dúchas agus go háirithe, le grá. Ní don óige amháin iad sin - creidim go Máireann siad beo i gcroí gach aon duine againn - go buan.' - Máire 8 . 6 . 1999

What the press said about Angels’ Candles

"Excellence is the unifying thread in all this diversity... one of the brightest, shiniest albums of the year..." Hot Press

"Richly satisfying and intensely moving... her pioneering spirit... soars over every note" The Living Tradition

"a work of genius that begs to be heard by every discerning fan of music in all its forms." Fiddlestix

"astonishing in both concept and scope... for creativity, musicianship and sheer quality, it is quite simply a class apart." Evening Echo

For further information, contact Katie Brady at +353 86 2525736 (telephone) or check out

Angels’ Candles/Coinnle na nAingeal - Máire Breatnach (1999 MBCALA 101) is distributed in Ireland by RMG Distribution (Ireland). contact Peter Kenny or Janine at +353 1 6727277 (telephone), +353 1 6779386 (fax) or by email at

* From Margadh na Saoire by Máire Mhac an tSaoi (Sáirséal agus Dill), first published in Dublin in 1956.

New CD with Keith Donald

Keith Donald - The Calm After the StormIn the Autumn of 1997, Keith Donald was being driven at speed through Welsh countryside in an attempt to make the ferry to Ireland after a recording session in Sain Studios. Perhaps it was the need for some peace and quiet after working to deadlines and being driven at high speed; maybe the company, the conversation and the dramatic Welsh countryside contributed; by the time he was on board the ship, Keith was determined to make an album of traditional slow airs played on sax.

Shortly thereafter, Máire Breatnach was playing violin and viola on music written by Keith for the BAFTA award-winning BBC drama, 'United'. Two weeks later, Keith was playing soprano sax on music written by Máire Breatnach for the RTE series 'Voyage'. Keith's idea was discussed and a process of research, experiment and recording started. The decision was made to show complete respect for the melodies while using late twentieth century arrangements and instruments.

After seventeen months, three recording studios, several mixes of everything and two mastering sessions, the result is The Calm After The Storm, a unique collection of Irish slow airs which has been described as "the musical equivalent of the Little Book of Calm".

Neither pure traditional, nor classical nor jazz music, there are elements of all three genres in the album, reflecting the training, experience and interests of these two virtuoso players.

Signature Tune for Scattery Island

Scattery Island, County ClareMáire Breatnach's latest musical composition will receive its premiere performance at Scattery Island on Friday 10th September. It will be the tenth such premiere in the ongoing nationwide series 'Ceol Reoite: Frozen Music', the millennium Project in which Sile de Valera, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, has commissioned a number of distinguished contemporary Irish musicians to compose a signature tune, as it were, in celebration of selected National Monuments and Historic Properties, which come within the remit of Duchas, the Heritage Service of her Department. The title of the project is derived from Goethe's famous dictum: 'Architecture is Frozen Music'.

Scattery Island is famous for its monastery, consisting of a round tower and several churches, and founded by St. Senan in the 6th century. Scattery Island is also 'infamous' for the ban which St. Senan imposed upon women from visiting the island. It is entirely appropriate therefore that Sile de Valera should have commissioned the celebrated Máire Breatnach to compose this particular tune, whose evocative air will surely scatter the memory of this shameful ban to the four winds. It promises to be a musically memorable occasion and also, an outstanding contribution to National Heritage Week. Vaut le retour.

Friday 10th September 1999 @ 5.30 p.m.
Scattery Island Visitor Centre, Merchant's Quay, Kilrush, Co. Clare.

Chieftains Tears of Stone

The Chieftains - Tears of StoneRCA Victor is proud to announce the long awaited new album, The Chieftains' TEARS OF STONE.

With Tears of Stone, The Chieftains have produced a worthy follow up, both artistically and commercially, to The Long Black Veil. A concept album, Tears of Stone explores the many facets of love from a woman's perspective. Featuring an extraordinary cast of women guest artists, Tears of Stone is a powerful exploration of love and the emotions it evokes - joy, regret, pleasure, and pain.

Primarily consisting of Irish love songs, the tracks on Tears of Stone are performed in the unique style of each guest artist. These individual pieces are seamlessly blended together by The Chieftains signature sound resulting in a cohesive and moving musical experience; a blend of pop and traditional elements that will easily capture both the Chieftains' loyal followers as well as the larger mainstream audience that bought The Long Black Veil.

"Tears of Stone is a seductive alluring album of deep emotional reserves. Blending irish music naturally into other cultures and styles is the key to the Chieftains' enduring success and this sensitive album. Prepare those Grammys now." - Mojo

Guest artists include, Brenda Fricker with Anuna, Bonnie Raitt, Natalie Merchant, Joni Mitchell, The Rankins, The Corrs, Sinead O'Connor, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Loreena McKennitt, Akiko Yano, Joan Osborne, Sissel, Eileen Ivers, Natalie MacMaster, Máire Breatnach, Annbjorg Lien, and Diana Krall.